English Translation for Councilors and Council Employees

Muhammed Iqbal made this Freedom of Information request to Tower Hamlets Borough Council

The request was successful.

From: Muhammed Iqbal

20 February 2012

Dear Tower Hamlets Borough Council,

I've become aware of the cost of translation services that are made
available to not only our local authority employees from English to
another language and also vice-verse, but also to our local elected
council representatives.

Please could you list the detailed services available for language
translation to both employees and councilors, the cost of each of
those services, the amount of employees who need these services to
be able to keep up with their jobs, the amount of Councillors who
need these services for the execution of their duties and finally
the distinctions between costs for councilors and employees,
including also any cost benefit analysis that has been taken out
regarding these services.

This data should also include the amount of requests from
councilors and employees for the acquisition of these services.

Finally is it a requirement of this council that potential
employees and/or councilors should be able to speak, write and
communicate effectively in English?

Yours faithfully,

Muhammed Iqbal

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From: Louis N Priest
Tower Hamlets Borough Council

20 February 2012

Dear Sir/Madam

FREEDOM OF INFORMATION ACT 2000

Thank you for your email.

Your request is being considered and if the information is held you will
receive the information requested within the statutory timescale of 20
working days as defined by the Freedom of Information Act 2000, subject to
the information not being exempt.

If the time taken to meet your request is likely to exceed 18 hours, we
will contact you and ask you amend your request to bring it below this
time limit. We will assist you with suggestions of how this might be
achieved.

I may also contact you if the request needs to be clarified; this is to
ensure that we provide you with the information you require.

Please note that some information you have requested may not be provided
to you; this will only be information that can be withheld by law.  In
most cases the reasons will be explained to you along with your copy of
any information that can be released to you.

Yours faithfully,

Mr Louis Priest

 

Tel No : 0207 364 2143

 

Corporate Complaints Admin Officer

 

London Borough of Tower Hamlets

6th Floor

Mulberry Place

East India Dock Complex

London

E14  2BG

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1. http://www.towerhamlets.gov.uk/
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Abdul Hai left an annotation (21 February 2012)

Quote-marks I am not a big fan of the council but do you have any supporting evidence? I thought all council employees and councilors had to speak English.

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Muhammed Iqbal left an annotation (24 February 2012)

Quote-marks Hi Abdul,

I thought the same as well, thats why i ask the question at the end of the FOI. I have been informed that this is a situation the council would rather us not know about as the cost is in the high figures, and i would imagine that they will refuse in some way to answer officially or use some other form of obfuscating tactic to dilute or destroy any credible answer.

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From: Jane L Jones
Tower Hamlets Borough Council

5 March 2012

 

 

 

 

 

Dear Sir/Madam

 

FREEDOM OF INFORMATION ACT 2000 -

 

Your request for information has been considered under the requirements of
the Freedom of Information Act and the information can be found at.

 

[1]http://www.towerhamletsfoi.org.uk/docume...

 

You can  also  search our Disclosure Log for any specific topics of
interest

 

[2]http://towerhamletsfoi.org.uk/disclosure...

 

Complete our Customer Satisfaction Survey

 

Tower Hamlets is committed to giving you the best possible service. It is
only by listening to your views that we can find out what we are doing
well and what needs to improve.

We are continuously looking at ways in which to improve our services and
will act on what you tell us.

All of your answers will be treated in strictest confidence. You will not
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Your contact details are kept separately from the replies on the
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Please take the time to complete the online survey  by clicking on the
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If you have any queries please get in touch with me to discuss them.  You
might like to know that the Council’s website [4]www.towerhamlets.gov.uk
contains a section on the Freedom of Information Act that lists other
publications readily available from the Council under its Publication
Scheme.

 

Yours faithfully

 

 

 

 

Jane Jones

Information Governance Administrative Officer

Legal Services

6th Floor

Mulberry Place

London E14 2BG

0207 364 4736

[5][email address]

 

Most of the information we provide in response to Freedom of Information
Act 2000 request will be subject to copyright protection. In most cases
the copyright will be owned by the London Borough of Tower Hamlets. The
copyright in other information may be owned by another person or
organization as indicated in the information itself.

 

You are free to use any information supplied for your own use, including
for non-commercial research purposes. The information may also be used for
the purposes of news reporting. However, any other type of re-use, for
example, publishing the information or issuing copies to the public will
require the permission of the copyright holder.

 

For information where the copyright is owned by the London Borough of
Tower Hamlets, details of the conditions of re-use can be found on our
website at [6]www.towerhamlets.gov.uk.

 

For information where the copyright is owned by another person or
organization, you must apply to the copyright holder to obtain their
permission.

 

If you unhappy with this response or wish to complain about any aspect of
the handling of this request please write to:

 

Corporate Complaints Unit

Tower Hamlets Town Hall

Mulberry Place

5 Clove Crescent

London E14 2BG

 

If you are subsequently not satisfied with the Council’s response to your
complaint you have a right of appeal to the independent Information
Commissioner at:

 

Information Commissioner’s Office

Wycliffe House

Water Lane

Wilmslow

Cheshire SK9 5AF

Telephone: 01625 545 700

[7]www.informationcommissioner.gov.uk

 

Further information about the operation of the act is available from the
council’s website [8]www.towerhamlets.gov.uk and the information leaflet
in public reception areas in Council buildings.

 

 

 

 

 

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2. http://towerhamletsfoi.org.uk/disclosure...
http://towerhamletsfoi.org.uk/disclosure...
3. http://www.surveymonkey.com/s.aspx?sm=rw...
http://www.surveymonkey.com/s.aspx?sm=rw...
4. http://www.towerhamlets.gov.uk/
http://www.towerhamlets.gov.uk/
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6. http://www.towerhamlets.gov.uk/
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8. http://www.towerhamlets.gov.uk/
http://www.towerhamlets.gov.uk/
9. http://www.towerhamlets.gov.uk/
10. mailto:[Tower Hamlets Borough Council request email]

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From: Tim Rodgers
Tower Hamlets Borough Council

20 March 2012

Dear Mr Iqbal,
 
Further to your request dated 20 February 2012, I can confirm that
translation services are only used for providing services to residents,
rather than for either staff or Councillors.  There is no stipulation in
our employment terms and conditions that English is a requirement, however
given our robust recruitment processes it would be unlikely that anyone
would be offered a position without a suitable level of written and
conversational English.
 
Thanks,
Tim Rodgers
Deputy Complaints and Information Manager
 
Legal Services
Chief Executives Department
London Borough of Tower Hamlets
Phone: 0207 364 4354
[mobile number]
Fax: 0207 364 4804
E-mail: [1][email address]
Website: http://www.towerhamlets.gov.uk
6th Floor, Town Hall, 5 Mulberry Place,
London E14 2BG
 

Most of the information we provide in response to Freedom of Information
Act 2000 request will be subject to copyright protection. In most cases
the copyright will be owned by the London Borough of Tower Hamlets. The
copyright in other information may be owned by another person or
organization as indicated in the information itself.

 

You are free to use any information supplied for your own use, including
for non-commercial research purposes. The information may also be used for
the purposes of news reporting. However, any other type of re-use, for
example, publishing the information or issuing copies to the public will
require the permission of the copyright holder.

 

For information where the copyright is owned by the London Borough of
Tower Hamlets, details of the conditions of re-use can be found on our
website at [2]www.towerhamlets.gov.uk.

 

For information where the copyright is owned by another person or
organization, you must apply to the copyright holder to obtain their
permission.

 

If you unhappy with this response or wish to complain about any aspect of
the handling of this request please write to:

 

Corporate Complaints Unit

Tower Hamlets Town Hall

Mulberry Place

5 Clove Crescent

London E14 2BG

 

If you are subsequently not satisfied with the Council’s response to your
complaint you have a right of appeal to the independent Information
Commissioner at:

 

Information Commissioner’s Office

Wycliffe House

Water Lane

Wilmslow

Cheshire SK9 5AF

Telephone: 01625 545 700

[3]www.informationcommissioner.gov.uk

 

Further information about the operation of the act is available from the
council’s website [4]www.towerhamlets.gov.uk and the information leaflet
in public reception areas in Council buildings.

show quoted sections

Please consider your environmental responsibility: Before printing this
e-mail or any other document , ask yourself whether you need a hard copy.

References

Visible links
1. mailto:[email address]
2. http://www.towerhamlets.gov.uk/
http://www.towerhamlets.gov.uk/
3. http://www.informationcommissioner.gov.uk/
http://www.informationcommissioner.gov.uk/
4. http://www.towerhamlets.gov.uk/
http://www.towerhamlets.gov.uk/
5. http://www.towerhamlets.gov.uk/
6. mailto:[Tower Hamlets Borough Council request email]

Link to this

Hugh Barnard left an annotation ( 2 December 2012)

Quote-marks Hi folks
I love this bit:

"however given our robust recruitment processes it would be unlikely that anyone would be offered a position without a suitable level of written and
conversational English"

These presumably are the 'robust recruitment procedures' used for some of the mayors 'advisors'. And judging by the emails I receive some of the written English is execrable. So 'unlikely' is the weasel word of the day.

Thank you both for taking a constructive interest in our fair borough!

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